What’s the climate reality for the greater San Joaquin Valley? What are the opportunities and challenges ahead for agriculture stakeholders?
The Maddy Institute, in partnership with Fresno State, CSU Bakersfield, Stanislaus State, UC Merced, the Livermore Lab Foundation, and Climate Now, will address those questions and more as part of a free, one-day summit from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. March 30 at Fresno State.
The summit, “Future of Agriculture in California,” is also available virtually.
“We are excited to bring these key players together in one place for this summit to highlight the challenges and opportunities faced by agricultural stakeholders in the Valley in light of climate change,” said Mark Keppler, executive director for the Maddy Institute. “Our fertile region currently produces 25% of the nation’s agricultural products, and we want to explore how Valley agriculture can continue to grow and thrive in this new environment.”
The summit, which will take place at the Satellite Student Union, will serve as a forum for key industry stakeholders — ranchers, farmers, corporations, academics, and government — to discuss what California agriculture might look like in 2045, the year when the State of California has committed to reaching net-neutral greenhouse gas emissions.
California’s Secretary of Food and Agriculture Karen Ross will provide the keynote address at 9 a.m.
An industry-focused panel with representatives from several major and mid-size producers will address specific challenges. Dr. Jennifer Pett-Ridge, a Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory soil scientist, will provide an overview of the natural land solutions, as well as emerging carbon-friendly technologies designed to reduce CO2 in the atmosphere.
Throughout the day, specific panel discussions will be led by each of the four universities:
- 11:15 a.m. — Stanislaus State will present a panel on revenue growth opportunities for landowners facing fallowing land, including what land repurposing looks like in the Central Valley and how it can be done equitably.
- 1:15 p.m. — Fresno State’s California Water Institute will lead a panel on “Enhancing and Preserving Water in the Central Valley,” with a discussion of the Sustainable Groundwater Management Act and how California might develop a water trading market.
- 2:30 p.m. — CSU Bakersfield will lead a panel on “The Business and Economics of Agriculture” and how climate is impacting agriculture supply chains and business strategies.
- 3:30 p.m. — UC Merced will present a panel on its experimental “Smart Farm” featuring data-collection technologies, renewable energy microgrids, and sustainability options.
The event is free and open to the public with both in-person and virtual opportunities. To register and learn more, visit https://www.fresno.climatenowevents.com/.